Portrait of a Pioneer: Bo Samuelsson, first Chairman of ScanBalt fmba
Bo Samuelsson, still leaving his foot prints (front page of GU Journalen, summer 2015)
Bo Samuelsson, Professor emeritus and former Vice Chancellor of Gothenburg University served as the first Chairman of ScanBalt.
As history shows that was a very good and fortunate choice as he in a masterful way combines an entrepreneurial mind with deep respect for different cultures, very well developed negotiation skills and an extremely sharp eye for solutions. Without Bo’s specific characteristics ScanBalt would probably never have been able to establish itself in a sustainable manner.
As ScanBalt General Secretary Peter Frank expresses it:
“Working with Bo was like being in the studio of an artist, a master painter. Every move was carefully thought out, all possibilities out sketched, all opportunities and challenges analyzed. And then on top of it, quick improvisation could happen when there was a need for it or when inspiration came as send from heaven. I learned a lot in those years, and Bo became – and is – a dear friend!”
But Bo Samuelsson left his marks long before that – and he is certainly still leaving his footprints.
He started his scientific career in the Karlsson group in medical chemistry studying the structure and function of Sphingolipids and showed the importance of these structures for e.g. transplantation immunology.
This led to a continued focus on transplantation immunology and his results were for example used in combination with xenotransplantation (organs from animals to humans) in collaboration with Mikael Breimer.
He for many years served as a highly respected medical doctor in transfusion medicines at Sahlgrenska.
However, Bo also became very engaged into educational and management issues. For years he actively worked within educational committees and e.g. proposed management aspects should be part of the education as a medical doctor.
In fact he was behind an in-depth analysis which should reform the education, a reform which was at its time quite controversial since it dared to discuss and question established dogmas and proposed alternative ways.
But at the end a reform was implemented which again was decisive for his election as Vice Chancellor of Gothenburg University 1997 – 2003.
It should be added that Bo is a highly respected pedagog and has won prestigios prizes as such. This includes a prize given by the students since he was able to sing the citric acid cycle as part of the education for medical students!
Try asking Lady Gaga to do that.
Another result of his pedagogical skills is that his parrot, Egon, is able and eager to comment to the many visitors and guests in his home and this in a remarkable clever manner.
The board of ScanBalt has on several occasions enjoyed the inputs from Egon but we leave it as a secret what concrete initiatives Egon is behind.